This classic golden Napa Valley Chardonnay offers ripe apple aromas and flavors typical of the Oak Knoll district offset by lemony citrus and meringue with yeasty buttered toast notes. Oak spice and vanilla give way to hints of caramel nougat and toasted hazelnut. Creamy and round in mouth-feel with bright acidity, the wine is elegant with a memorable, lingering finish.
This Sterling Vineyards Chardonnay hails from the Oak Knoll region in the Napa Valley and includes fruit from the Rodgers and Star Vineyards. The Rodgers Vineyard, which comprises the majority of the wine, is located south of the town of Yountville, and is mainly planted to Chardonnay clone 76 and 96. Both vineyards thrive in the warm valley location but also benefit from the cool nights the area sees due to fog that can creep up the valley from the San Pablo bay.
Early season rains brought yields back to normal levels this year, mitigating the extended drought that afflicted most of California. A cool spring resulted in normal timing for bud break, in late March. Temperatures remained fairly cool in May and June, but high temperatures in July triggered an early start to harvest. Quality was solid for the vintage overall.
The Chardonnay fruit was harvested in the cool morning hours and sent directly to press at the winery. The fruit was barrel fermented with a classic tropical flavor inducing yeast in 100% French (53% new) oak barrels to impart rich texture and added spice notes. 100% of the chardonnay is allowed to go through secondary malolactic fermentation.